Differentiate between Hardware and Software

Subject Introduction to Computer System
NU Year Set: 6.(c) Marks: 3 Year: 2012

Hardware vs Software

What’s the difference between hardware and software? There are two key differences of both and that’s their usage and appearance.

Usage for both is related but not the same. Hardware may determine how fast your computer system works through advanced material and circuitry designs, but it won’t function without software. The software on the other hand is what makes the hardware function effectively. It is a collection of code installed on your system. To explain further, a mouse (hardware) will not function unless software is installed, but fortunately, most OS’s these days automatically install it.

In regard to appearance, hardware can be touched and seen physically, but with software you won’t be able to touch it, although you can probably see the written code and the actual program running.

Comparison Chart



Physical in nature

Logical in nature

Storage devices, output devices, control devices

System software, programming software, applications, games

Hard drives, routers, scanners, printers, video cards, monitor

Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Word, PDF readers, Quickbooks

Serves as delivery system for software solutions

Performs specific tasks by users through set of instructions

Dependent on software

Dependent on hardware

Cannot be targeted by a virus directly

Targeted by a virus

Wears out over time

Will not wear out over time


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